Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. Utilized…
Hola from Cabo! The Taylor & Pond social media team recently took a break from the office to embark on a retreat in Los Cabos, Mexico. Our CEO, Cindy Pond, along with our VP of client success Siri Formsgaard and VP of New Business Development Jacquie Johnson led two days of sessions for a fun, informational experience for our team.
During our first day on the retreat, we started off the day with breakfast in each of the houses, followed by a series of sessions starting. The social team was very involved in activities and brainstorms planning for 2019 as well as going over strategy decks for our agency. After a brief lunch break and some extra time to check our client emails by the pool, we headed back into another interactive session to brainstorm for a new position in the company.
After another morning of breakfast, day two was another day of fun, interactive activities. During the first session, our CEO covered “The Brand of You” to go over the importance of representing yourself and your brand well, especially when it comes to social media. The second session, led by Siri, covered “Account Management Tips for Success,” including topics such as time management and dealing with difficult clients. Next, Jacquie presented a “New Business” session to explain her role as well as how the social team can be more involved in new business opportunities in the company. In our final “Q&A” session, we went around in fun musical chairs style of meeting and had the chance to ask our leadership about any questions we had.
Why should my agency plan a work retreat?
Company retreats are a great way for agencies to plan to get everyone on the team on the same page. This is an opportunity to share company goals and strategy plans, in addition to getting feedback from team members. Plus, a retreat is a fun way to participate in team bonding activities that will strengthen relationships between co-workers!
How can I plan a successful work retreat that employees actually want to go to?
1. Start Planning Early
It’s important to plan out your retreat schedule early so that you are completely prepared for the overall schedule and daily activities. Make sure to give this step the time and attention it requires, or your audience might take away something different than what you intended. By planning ahead, you can make sure the retreat will be remembered for the right reasons! Think about what activities will make the retreat a great experience, while also ensuring that it is productive.
2. Think About Location
If it’s in your budget, consider a destination that’s a bit out of the way but still accessible. People will get excited if it involves a plane or unique getaway destination (Cabo is always a good idea!) If you decide to stay local, try checking out hotels, parks and meeting areas that are close driving distance from your business and easy for employees to commute to.
3. Get Feedback
Before the retreat, our leadership team sent out a survey to learn which topics we were interested in learning more about, our biggest pain points and any other suggestions we had. After meeting in small groups for breakout sessions, we also shared our individual responses and collective feedback when we reconvened as a team.
4. Make It Personal
Help your team understand how the content applies to each department and role by clearly communicating “what’s in it for me”. Connect the dots from individual contributors to broad, company-wide priorities and goals with breakout sessions that continue the personal conversations.
5. Work Hard
This comes back to our number one tip involving your planning skills – make sure that you provide enjoyable activities while still keeping productivity in mind. Don’t think of a retreat as putting work on pause, but rather as an investment in the future that is a part of company culture that will be remembered and talked about. Bringing your whole company together allows for the team to have the opportunity to get on the same page and come home feeling re-energized, accomplished and inspired by the direction of the company and a sense of value of their personal contribution.
6. Have Fun!
Now, onto the most important part of a company retreat: make sure to have fun! This could be the only time all year that your employees will all be together in person, so make sure to take advantage of it. Plan out some unstructured social time in order for your team members to get to know each other as individuals outside of work.
As long as you plan in advance, consider your audience and feedback, and work and play hard, it will be worth your time, money and effort no matter what you end up doing for your company retreat.
Have you gone on a company retreat before? Share your best retreat tips and memories below!